Paul Skilleter News: May 2018

Paul Skilleter Books


Offers from Paul Skilleter and PJ Publishing March 2018

Please note that all our listed books are published in English.


Our new web site

We have now a completely redesigned web site! This is because after nearly 15 years, the old one used systems which could no longer be supported technically. Our sincere thanks to Tony Bailey who created the original site and has maintained it ever since.

The new site has a slightly different domain name ( but anyone using any of our old addresses will be redirected to this new site. My personal photo archive site is still accessible via


News about Norman Dewis OBE

Those who attend certain Jaguar and classic car events this year may have noticed that the familiar figure of Norman Dewis, Jaguar’s test development driver 1952-1985, has been absent. Unfortunately his bowel cancer has returned with complications, and he has had to take it easy for the past few months.

The more positive news is that he is up and about, and his family and friends hope that he will be able to attend some events during the year. Meanwhile our very best wishes go to Norman as he approaches his 98th birthday in August.



New Books!

The Jaguar E-type Factory & Private Competition Cars by Peter Griffiths The Jaguar E-type Factory & Private Competition Cars by Peter Griffiths

Due for publication in mid-June, this book is going to explore the E-type in competition like no other! It has its origins in a ‘Jaguars in competition’ series which we intended to launch some years ago, but personal circumstances on my behalf prevented it going ahead for some time. However, as the author Peter Griffiths had done so much work on it, I felt it only fair to pass the title to another publisher – Veloce.

My original aim was for the book to cover all the well-known factory cars, including the Lightweights, but then concentrate on what happened after the factory stopped racing and private owners took over. It was then, in the late 60s and early 70s, that the E-type really began to win races, albeit in club rather than international events.

In fact, the hotly contested wide-wheeled Mod Sports racing of those years is my favourite era of motor racing, and I was fortunate enough to witness it in person and even track test one of the leading contenders. This period is Peter Griffiths’ speciality (which is why I recruited him!) and the book benefits from his unique archive built up over 40 years of observing, and owning, racing E-types.

This database has also allowed Peter to track the often convoluted careers of individual E-types, and compile listings of cars and drivers running into many hundreds. He has also used my picture archives, and those of Ted Walker and various other commercial picture libraries, for the book’s hundreds of photographs – many in colour.

For a new slant on E-types in competition, I am sure you will find this book fascinating, outspoken and informative.

The Jaguar E-type Factory & Private Competition Cars by Peter Griffiths. Hardback, 25 x 1.8 x 25cm, 144 pages. Available mid-June 2018 but order now from us now and get free UK postage (and only £3.50 Europe). Price £40.00.


Jaguar from the Shop Floor by Brian James Martin Jaguar from the Shop Floor

by Brian James Martin

Also due early June, this account by Brian Martin is long-awaited – especially, perhaps, by readers of Jaguar World magazine when in 1994 some of Brian’s recollections appeared as an article entitled ‘A View from the Bottom!’

Now Brian has finally produced the book he has been threatening to write for over 20 years, and terrific it is too. It tells of his experiences while working at Jaguar from 1949, just as the XK 120 was coming on stream, until leaving in 1978 when the XJ-S and Series 2 XJ saloons were in full production.

There are many Jaguar books about the technicalities of the cars themselves, and some biographies of important Jaguar people, but it is ultra rare to read the opinions of a shop-floor worker. So Brian’s vivid and often amusing account of life at Jaguar is unique, with all sorts of fascinating insights on how the cars were built (both production models and prototypes), and how the great and the good at Jaguar appeared to an assembly line worker. Though it should be noted that Brian eventually progressed through the company to work in the experimental department, before becoming a development engineer and then entering junior management.

A true Jaguar enthusiast as well, Brian built a splendid XK-SS replica and for a time was chairman of the (now-defunct but much respected) Jaguar Car Club. The chapter headings give a good indication of what’s in store for the reader:-

Chapter 1: Why Jaguar?

Chapter 2: 1949
I join Jaguar, the NUVB, and Labour

Chapter 3: 1949–1950
The XK 120, assembly line chaos, and Gladys and Dorothy

Chapter 4: 1950–1951
Earls Court Motor Show, my first date, and the Mk VII

Chapter 5: 1951–1955
The RAF, towing aircraft, and night flying

Chapter 6: 1955
Jaguar at Browns Lane, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and my first car

Chapter 7: 1956
A royal visit, Jaguar retires from racing, and preparing for Earls Court

Chapter 8: 1957
The XKSS, the fire, and a new position

Chapter 9: 1957-1958
The experimental department, a Ford van, and rallying

Picture Gallery

Chapter 10: 1958-1959
The Mk II in competition, E1A, and E2A

Chapter 11: 1960-1961
The Grand Prix, my first Jaguar, and Sandy Lane

Chapter 12: 1961-1962
The Mk X, more racing, and the early lightweights

Chapter 13: 1963-1965
The lightweights, the XJ range, and a big decision

Chapter 14: 1965-1972
New jobs, Forward Engineering, and coming full circle

Chapter 15: 1972-1973
Old friends, assembly lines, and Browns Lane transformed

Chapter 16: 1974-1978
The XJC, the XJS, and leaving Jaguar

Epilogue: My Jaguars


Jaguar from the Shop Floor by Brian Martin. Hardback • 23.2×15.5cm • 192 pages • 99 colour and b&w pictures. Available early June but order from us now and get free UK postage. Price £30.00


Book: The Jaguar XK120 in Competition by Dr James Fraser, Paul Skilleter The Jaguar XK120 in Competition

by Dr James Fraser

This is our own venture into the realms of Jaguars in competition – a 500-page, 1,000 illustration masterwork by James Fraser, himself the owner of a competition XK 120.

So here for the first time is a comprehensive account of the XK 120 in races, rallies, hill-climbs and sprints from the very first time the car ventured onto a race track (at Silverstone in 1949), right up to the present day. The XK 120’s most successful years were the early 1950s, when it was the sports car to beat in international rallies, and the major part of the book covers the cars and drivers of that time – led by such as (Sir) Stirling Moss in racing, and the Appleyards in rallying. But literally hundreds of other XK 120s also competed, and James has attempted to record most of them.

By 1960 talented club drivers had taken over, though XK 120s in motor sport were thin on the ground until in 1967 the XK Register was formed, and from 1969 tempted XK owners back onto the track. To provide them with suitable opposition, Thoroughbred Sports Car racing was subsequently established, resulting in many fine dices between XKs, Aston Martins, TRs and Austin-Healeys during the 1970s.

In fact I believe there is now a growing interest in the XK 120’s racing renaissance of the late 1960s/early 1970s, though I may be biased as I was racing my own XK during this period! So the book covers these years in some detail, before more briefly taking the story to the present day, when the JEC-sponsored series are so popular and attract more XKs than ever before.

The book, to the same format and quality as our XK ‘Explored’ series, is being designed by Tony Bailey, who co-authored and designed our Mike Hawthorn Golden Boy books. We are also very pleased that the book is being supported by JD Classics, associated with so many famous XK 120s. This support has helped James to secure the best images from the best photo libraries worldwide and has allowed us to provide the large number of pages which the subject matter deserves.

You can see sample pages, and meet James Fraser and myself, at XK70, where James will be based in the JD Classics area. I will be competing on Saturday 9th in my red XK 150S fixedhead – which will also be driven up the hill by John Harper, perhaps the outstanding XK racer of the late 60s/early 70s, and who has been highly competitive in a range of historic machinery since.

The Jaguar XK 120 in Competition by Dr James Fraser is published by PJ Publishing Ltd. Target date for release is late summer 2018. ISBN 978-1-908658-05-0. Only 500 standard versions will be printed, plus 120 leather editions. Price to be announced but provisionally £125.00 for the standard edition.



Back in stock!


Jaguar E-Type 6- Cylinder Originality Guide Jaguar E-Type Six-Cylinder Originality Guide by Haddock & Mueller

Returning to the E-type theme, Tom Haddock’s title covering the specification and evolution of the six-cylinder E-type has now been reprinted, after the first printing rapidly sold out. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom and his wife when they visited the UK earlier this year, and he is a most charming and knowledgeable man. The book is packed with photographs, nearly all taken by Tom of unrestored cars, which explore seemingly every last detail of the E-type.

Jaguar E-Type Six-Cylinder Originality Guide by Haddock & Mueller. Price £94.99 plus shipping.



For further details on all items listed here and our other books please visit our website


Paul Skilleter
Paul Skilleter Books/ PJ Publishing Ltd
Tel: +44(0)1425 612669